If market research studies are to provide any real benefit, you must first fill a study with the right people. When organizations commission a qualitative market research study, it is hoping to receive insights that will guide strategic and marketing decisions. When a study is designed by an experienced, nationwide market research firm you can rest easy knowing that each step of the study has been thought-out.
Once the objective of the study is figured out, the next step is recruiting qualified participants. Market research consultants spend a lot of time with this phase of the study because they know that recruiting successful participants doesn’t just happen. Developing a robust screening guide is the difference between mediocre recruits and outstanding recruits.
Each market research study is unique and designed specifically to solicit insights that will test hypothesis and provide organizations with the ‘how’ and ‘why’ behind consumer’s choices and behaviour.
Let’s explore three best practices when it comes to preparing and writing screening guides.
Best Practice #1:
Probably the hardest part about writing a screening guide is finding the balance between specificity without being too restrictive.
Each study will have different requirements for what determines qualification to participate in a study. Screening guides will typically have a number of questions posed to candidates to determine eligibility. Even if there are very specific requirements to meet eligibility, screening guides will have a series of questions to ensure a well-rounded group is ultimately identified.
In certain instances, a double screening may be required. When a market research study requires a very specific type of participant, with little wiggle-room for anyone who falls outside specificparameters, recruiting teams will be asked to conduct a double screening.
A screening guide needs to be specific enough to capture qualified study participants without being so restrictive that otherwise qualified participants are excluded.
Best Practice #2:
Participating in market research is a great way to earn money and help organizations. The challenge for recruitment firms is to suss out professional market research participants from genuine participants.
Recruiters have a number of tricks and tools that help them figure out if a person really qualifies to participate in a study, or if s/he is only looking for a quick way to make some money.
It is important to have robust guardrails in place during the screening process. If a person ‘slips through’ and it’s discovered that s/he doesn’t actually qualify to finish the study, it’s important that this person has been informed that no compensation will be paid out.
Most studies require full participation in a study in order to receive compensation.
Best Practice #3
Keeping a screening guide short is key. When screening guides are too long or complicated, it will be much harder to recruit people. Most people don’t have the patience to spend a lot of time answering detailed questions when determining basic eligibility.
Finding the best recruits is the name of the game. Don’t forget to recruit extra participants for your market research study. It’s always a good idea to have back-ups in case there are last-minute changes or substitutions required.